You have a smartphone and you’re quite happy with it. You play lot of games, use social network apps, and share all your happy moments and you’re really satisfied with the smartphone you own. But have you ever thought that your innocent looking smartphone can be dangerous sometimes? If you have private data in your smartphone that you don’t like to share, or maybe you don’t want to let anyone where you are at times, still using smartphones without knowing their full features, then you are not as smart as your smartphone is. There are many apps in your phone that grabs your private data, with or without your permission and you permit them to do so, maybe even without knowing.
Let me tell you a very simple example so that you can determine the risk. You have been to some place that you don’t want to share with your Facebook friends. But your Facebook auto check-in is turned on or foursquare determined your location and shared it on your Facebook because you have provided them access to your Facebook profile earlier. Feeling scared now?
Let’s look at some other apps that do the same.
Just talked about that; again felt the urge to tell you something. This app doesn’t ask you for any permission to grab your contact book information. Absolutely nothing but it’ll scan and take them all. Time to use the service carefully.
Apps that takes your data, but after asking you
There are many apps that ask you first for your permission to access your data. Most people don’t even notice who is asking for the permission and why is that, they just hit allow. If you are such a person, then you can’t actually blame apps for stealing your data. However, just know the names of them.
Path is a social network. Not popular like Facebook but very convenient as a mobile social network site to share your activities with friends and family. However, this app asks for your permission to access your data to find out more Path members in your contact list and grab pretty much all user data, including email addresses.
Social networks need your information. For better experience with their apps, they take your user data; after asking you. They don’t, but if they leak your data then you might be in risk. However, Facebook takes email addresses, phone numbers and first and last names of your contacts.
Again, another social network. Grabs the same data that Facebook does.
Though this is a photo sharing social network and not supposed to be needing your contact book, but it still searches for contacts in your address book to find matches. Email addresses, contact names and numbers.
Voxer is another app like WhatsApp but they have push to talk option. It acts like a walkie-talkie but offers much more than that. However, this apps copies your data too.
Apps that might not take your data, but still there are ‘but’s….
There are some apps that don’t ask you for access to your contact book, neither do they appear to be taking the data. But they need these data to work, then do they take it without permission? Let’s know which ones.
Skype integrates your contacts with Skype details (if any). How do they do that without accessing your address book?
It’s not sure if it really accesses your contact book. But there’s assumption that it anyhow links to your address book.
Maybe, they link to your address book.
What does the operating system developers say?
According to Apple & Android, accessing users’ contact book without permission is violation of their policy.
What should your role be?
Well, definitely be careful. Renowned app developers may not misuse your data but the un-renowned ones might not be quite so noble.